Application process

This page outlines the LEADER application process. If you’re thinking of applying for a LEADER grant get in touch first to confirm that the project falls into the Oxfordshire LEADER area.

Please bear in mind that the time it takes from submitting an Expression of Interest form to a grant being awarded can be from four to eight months. The project cannot have started before a grant is offered.


Expression of Interest (EOI)

This stage is to assess the eligibility of your project. You can download the form and guidance by clicking on the links below.

We also recommend that you refer to the following help-sheets:

Please send your completed EOI form to We accept applications on a rolling basis and will get back to you with a decision within two – four weeks. If your project is eligible you will be invited to submit a Full Application.


Full Application

We will send you an email inviting you to submit a Full Application with the forms, guidance and a deadline. At this stage we will need much more detailed information about the organisation and project. Below are some of the key things to consider. Click on highlighted points for further guidance.

  • three comparable quotes for all items of expenditure
  • financial accounts and a cashflow forecast for the applicant business
  • measurable outputs
  • planning permission if applicable or other permissions
  • evidence to show the need and demand for the project such as market research
  • evidence of match funding
  • proof of tenancy (if applicable)
  • any relevant photographs, architect’s drawings or plans
  • evidence of the project team experience and capacity to deliver

We invite all applicants at this stage to a workshop to go through the forms and what is required. Please contact us about the workshop if you have not received an invite.

Full Application Deadline Decision Meeting
Tuesday 24 October, 9.ooam Wednesday 13 December
Tuesday 2 January, 9.00am Wednesday 28 February
Wednesday 28 February, 9.00am Wednesday 25 April
Wednesday 25 April, 9.00am Wednesday 20 June
Wenesday 20 June, 9.00am Wednesday 15 August


Decision – The Local Action Group will meet to make a decision usually eight weeks after the application is submitted. We invite all applicants to attend the meeting to answer any questions the LAG may have.

Grant Funding Agreement – If the LAG decide to award funding then we will let you know within a week of the meeting. We will send you a Grant Funding Agreement and the project can start. We will arrange a meeting to go through the Agreement.

Claims –  You can make up to three claims for a grant. You can only claim for costs once they have been incurred so the costs will need to be covered in advance. You will need to show evidence of an invoice and payment to the supplier.

Contract & Outputs – Successful projects will need to follow the terms of the Agreement for 5 years after the date of the final claim payment.

Appeals – If you want to appeal an unsuccessful decision please follow the instructions on our Appeals Form

“The application process looks quite daunting when you first start, especially if you haven’t done this sort of thing before. But it’s worthwhile as it forces you to work through how you are going to expand your business and this helps get it clear in your own mind. It’s essential to get the objectives and benefits of the project right early on.”
Successful applicant